How Can a Parent Best Support a Child in Nursing School?

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In summary, the conversation was about a parent seeking advice for their daughter who was feeling overwhelmed about upcoming exams. The parent shared their initial response, which they felt could have been better. The expert summarizer shares some advice on how to handle exam stress and provides reassurance that there is always a way out, regardless of the results. They also mention their own experience in handling tough situations and the importance of staying calm.
  • #1
dlgoff
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One of my daughters is in school getting a nursing degree and sent me this in an email:
I have been crying a lot and so scared of the 4 exams I have on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday
This is what I replied; but I think I could have done better:
I'm sure you'll do fine. I went through that a lot of that when I was in college. Remember; You know the material. Just relax. Everything will fall into place. Besides, you don't have to get an A on every exam, do you?

Any better advice I can give her?

Thanks in advance.
 
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  • #2
dlgoff said:
One of my daughters is in school getting a nursing degree and sent me this in an email:

This is what I replied; but I think I could have done better:
Well, this ...

I'm sure you'll do fine.
... puts pressure on her.
I went through that a lot of that when I was in college.
So? How does that help?
dlgoff said:
Remember; You know the material.

Just relax. Everything will fall into place. Besides, you don't have to get an A on every exam, do you?

Any better advice I can give her?

Thanks in advance.
You could have given some advice like this: e.g. learning up to the very last moment can be counterproductive. It loads the short-term memory with the result that long-term knowledge will lose accessibility. So relax is actually good advice, and that is the reason why. I had to experience this. My planned exam has been postponed by an hour or so because of a funeral my professor had to attend. So I used the hour and recapped my notes, which was an extract of an extract. Bad idea!

I assume that they are written exams. In that case
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/10-math-tips-save-time-avoid-mistakes/
might be helpful.

In case they are verbal tests, then it is less to worry about. Examiners will easily distinguish nervousness and errors caused by it from ignorance. I protocolled about 250 verbal exams at university, so I know what I say. And the result was almost always fixed after the first 10 minutes. The rest was basically a check whether those first impressions were correct. However, the human factor is irrelevant in written exams.

To release the pressure you could ensure her, that there will always be a way out, regardless of the results.

I remember a day in the office and the overnight batch for calculating all interests of thousands of accounts went terribly wrong. I was horrified, but the project manager simply said: "Calm down. We do not build nuclear power plants here. So nothing that couldn't be fixed." I always found comfort in his answer and remembered it when something went not as planned.
 
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  • #3
fresh_42 said:
Well, this ...... puts pressure on her.

So? How does that help?

You could have given some advice like this: e.g. learning up to the very last moment can be counterproductive. It loads the short-term memory with the result that long-term knowledge will lose accessibility. So relax is actually good advice, and that is the reason why. I had to experience this. My planned exam has been postponed by an hour or so because of a funeral my professor had to attend. So I used the hour and recapped my notes, which was an extract of an extract. Bad idea!

I assume that they are written exams. In that case
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/10-math-tips-save-time-avoid-mistakes/
might be helpful.

In case they are verbal tests, then it is less to worry about. Examiners will easily distinguish nervousness and errors caused by it from ignorance. I protocolled about 250 verbal exams at university, so I know what I say. And the result was almost always fixed after the first 10 minutes. The rest was basically a check whether those first impressions were correct. However, the human factor is irrelevant in written exams.

To release the pressure you could ensure her, that there will always be a way out, regardless of the results.

I remember a day in the office and the overnight batch for calculating all interests of thousands of accounts went terribly wrong. I was horrified, but the project manager simply said: "Calm down. We do not build nuclear power plants here. So nothing that couldn't be fixed." I always found comfort in his answer and remembered it when something went not as planned.
Thank you @fresh_42. I passed this on to her saying that I had given her some bad advice. I just called her and gave her your advice and emailed her a link to this post.
 
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  • #4
dlgoff said:
I have no idea what you are talking about. How is this going to help my daughter?
I'll elaborate a little: I think that I did not claim that what I said could help your daughter. I was recounting my still being non-useless in a tough spot.

One example: a company that guarantees tansactions, such that if they fail to do their clearing, if you would have lost, they pay, and if you woud have gained, they pay ##-## and if their computer is down for over an hour, so that they can't process any transactions, they pay through the nose ##-## if they're down for a whole day, they go bankrupt, and billions of dollars get messed up.

But they do have nerds on call to fend off such calamities. Entre moi. For your daughter, and anyone else, the lesson is breathe and stay calm, including in a tough spot, so that you can do your best, and maybe succeed.
 
  • #5
sysprog said:
I think that I did not claim that what I said could help your daughter.
Did you even look at the title of this thread?
 
  • #6
dlgoff said:
Did you even look at the title of this thread?
Well, yes, but I didn't interpret it to be exceptionally restrictive.
 
  • #7
sysprog said:
Well, yes, but I didn't interpret it to be exceptionally restrictive.
How else can you interpret "Advice to help one of my daughters"?
 
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  • #8
dlgoff said:
How else can you interpret "Advice to help one of my daughters"?
I don't blame you for being wound up where you see the well beng of your daughter to be involved; however, handling being in tight-spot situations is something to which many, if not all, of us can relate, including when it's not a school exam.
 
  • #9
It depends on what your daughter is feeling. I sympathize with her because I've never, not once, went into an exam not nervous/anxious. But that's because they're exams, and their point is to judge our knowledge, and being judged usually invokes an emotional response.

Since she has time until the exams, if I were in your shoes, id clarify why she is scared. Is she nervous/scared because of the above, or is it because she truly believes she doesn't know what she needs to know?

I'd give her the advice of googling for tests in the subjects she is taking, and then taking them "live" (as if they were her actually exams). While they're not the real thing, it's good practice and gives her some real perspective on what she knows, and what she doesn't have a clue about.

Finally, what I've told undergraduates in the past: Failing doesn't mean "the end". One way or another, humans usually find ways to find success in things we are passionate about. When she gets the results back from the exam, and they aren't what she wants, identify what went wrong in your preparation, and come back stronger the next time.

I wish her luck, Nursing is a tough major, and even a tougher job IMO, but I'm glad people like her are willing to accept the challenge!
 
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  • #10
It looks to me like some posts in this thread were deleted. I'd like to reiterate my apology to @dlgoff for my part in any derailment, and my appreciation for his acceptance of my apology. Thanks.
 
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  • #11
sysprog said:
It looks to me like some posts in this thread were deleted. I'd like to reiterate my apology to @dlgoff for my part in any derailment, and my appreciation for his acceptance of my apology. Thanks.
Thanks @sysprog -- yes, the thread has indeed been edited. The sincere request by @dlgoff for thoughts in this situation is important. I'm a dad with a daughter and son too. Being a medic, I think it's awesome that his daughter is in a nursing program. On a medic forum that I frequent, we just had a discussion about how much more difficult nursing school is compared to paramedic school. Nurses are amazing. :smile:
 
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  • #12
berkeman said:
The sincere request by @dlgoff for thoughts in this situation is important.
Thank you Sir for fixing this thread.
And I must agree that:
berkeman said:
Nurses are amazing.
:bow:
 
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  • #13
dlgoff said:
Any better advice I can give her?
Giving advice can be a touchy subject...

Maybe she just wanted to unload and have someone she has someone who listen to her.
Which by your listening( even if by email) and being there for her probably helped her just as much if not more than any actual advice you could have given, especially just days away from the exams, as she opened up to you and expressed and confronted her fear.
In my opinion, you did fine by telling her that she would do fine.

"Better advice" No. ( If it rains on Tuesday... )
You were short enough to not have her have to try to decipher a wordy lengthy prose and worry about what you meant right before her exams.

Except, I wouldn't have sent her anything from here. she spoke to you, not the world.
 
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  • #14
256bits said:
Except, I wouldn't have sent her anything from here. she spoke to you, not the world.
I wish I would have thought of this first.
 
  • #15
dlgoff said:
I wish I would have thought of this first.
I am sure she knows that you care about her welfare and are very proud of her.
And you can talk after the stress of the exams is over for her.

( If she passes with super A's, and she'll take you up on that new car you promised )
Just kidding:smile:
 
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  • #16
dlgoff said:
I wish I would have thought of this first.
I don't think it is wrong to ask about the experiences of others, especially if the entire audience went through similar tests and stress. My article about exam situations e.g. includes some tricks to deal with nervousness. They might or might not be of help, but they are worth considering.
romsofia said:
I sympathize with her because I've never, not once, went into an exam not nervous/anxious.
... is true for most if not all of us. I've also been sitting at the other side of the table. And nobody on that side wants someone to fail. I frequently looked up exams for my math challenge threads. And the questions often were too easy to be a challenge. Nobody wants someone to fail. And even less these times when nurses became a sought for expertise.
 
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  • #17
fresh_42 said:
I don't think it is wrong to ask about the experiences of others, especially if the entire audience went through similar tests and stress. My article about exam situations e.g. includes some tricks to deal with nervousness. They might or might not be of help, but they are worth considering.

... is true for most if not all of us. I've also been sitting at the other side of the table. And nobody on that side wants someone to fail. I frequently looked up exams for my math challenge threads. And the questions often were too easy to be a challenge. Nobody wants someone to fail. And even less these times when nurses became a sought for expertise.
You are correct.
I think the OP was more about @dlgoff than his daughter.
I read anxiety about a parent has towards their children in times of 'crisis'.
Certainly, when we feel that others fret about similar situations, and that it is real, does give us a sense of relief.
 
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  • #18
fresh_42 said:
I was horrified, but the project manager simply said: "Calm down. We do not build nuclear power plants here. So nothing that couldn't be fixed." I always found comfort in his answer and remembered it when something went not as planned.
Some of us can't use that one at work :oops:
 
  • #19
This is a little late in responding, I can give some suggestions for her next semester.

If she is perfectionistic, then I don’t think the comments about not having to get an A on every exam will help. If she gets less than an A on two exams then her final grade could be a B. She knows this so it might cause her to become more upset.

-Ask her if there’s anything you can do to help.

-She might be having some issues with executive functioning. I’m sure taking over her digital calendar to input her syllabus due dates and course schedule would be helpful! And if she doesn’t have a digital planner then you could ask for a copy of them/her schedule and surprise her with it! You could add her bill due dates and other things too. That’s such a Dad thing to do (I think). Then send her a log-in for the calendar account, it will ping her when something is due. She will also likely feel more supported because you will know what she’s doing! It could open up communication with her and you will always know when to call her to talk about a specific thing she is working on.

-You could help her study remotely. If she is using something like quizlet then you can drill her on FaceTime.

-Just hanging out with you would probably help more than anything, but I suppose that you guys are too far apart for that. FaceTime in general at least once a week would probably help a lot.

-You could try forcing her to do some self-care. Send her links for a massage or chiropractor certificate, whatever she needs.

-Making sure she has the right shoes, socks, and gear to do well and get through it physically.

-Sensory experiences can be great for stress relief: scented bath bombs and products, chocolate, tasty things, perfumes, etc. could be appreciated- if that’s her way of relieving stress.

-Make sure she is getting out into nature and doing things she loves. Encouragement about her hobbies and interests would be helpful. We tend to let those go when under stress. And I think it helps recharge us so that we can tackle challenges.

-She noted that she was afraid. That suggests she might need some school counseling to determine the main cause of it. I think most of us are afraid to fail, but sometimes it may be because we don’t know how to systematically approach courses. Studying and being examined in high school can be very different than college and they often aren’t prepared for it. The digital calendar, if she isn’t doing it already, may be a solution in managing her fears and stress.

While you can’t do the hard work for her, you can approach it as trying to find ways to give her relief. The less non-school issues she has to deal with, the better she will do in school. I’m not sure advice is as effective as the actionable items I listed above. I know that I find it hard to listen to advice when I’m stressed, even though I should.

You are such a good Dad!
 

Related to How Can a Parent Best Support a Child in Nursing School?

1. How can I give my daughter helpful advice?

The best way to give your daughter helpful advice is to listen to her concerns and provide guidance in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Make sure to communicate with her in a calm and respectful manner and offer practical solutions to any problems she may be facing.

2. What if my daughter doesn't want to listen to my advice?

It's important to remember that your daughter is her own person and may not always want to listen to your advice. It's important to respect her autonomy and allow her to make her own decisions. However, you can still offer your advice and support her in any way she needs.

3. Is there a specific age when I should start giving my daughter advice?

There is no specific age to start giving your daughter advice. As a parent, you know your child best and can gauge when they are ready to handle certain situations and when they may need your guidance. It's important to have open communication and be there for your daughter whenever she needs your help.

4. Should I only give my daughter advice when she asks for it?

It's important to balance offering advice when your daughter asks for it and also recognizing when she may need your guidance even if she doesn't directly ask for it. Pay attention to any changes in her behavior or mood and offer your support and advice when necessary.

5. What if I don't have all the answers?

It's okay if you don't have all the answers. As a parent, it's important to be honest with your daughter and let her know that you may not have all the answers, but you are there to support her and figure things out together. You can also seek advice from other trusted sources, such as family members, friends, or professionals, to provide your daughter with the best advice possible.

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